Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Introducing My Best Friend!

I have to share something with you today. I want to introduce to a best friend of mine. We've been together for quite sometime now and I think a proper introduction is needed. Introducing... my Crock-Pot.

Yes, the my Crock-Pot is one of my closest friends when it comes to cooking in my kitchen. Now don't get me wrong. I LOVE to cook. I enjoy finding new recipes and experimenting, I mean offering/trying them out, on my family.

Let's face it. We all have busy, crazy days where we just want dinner to welcome us when we get home. We just want to walk in at dinner time and everything be ready to place on the table, eat, and clean up. That's it.

It doesn't always happen that way but when I use my good ol' buddy, it does. I can simply grab the ingredients I need, toss them in, and go! Dinners ready in a few hours and no worries on my part. Unless I forget to turn the pot on and then... well... it's not a pretty way to end the day.

So, grab your coffee, or tea, and go with me on the journey of why I love my Crock-Pot.

A dependable tool
With the exception of forgetting to plug it in or turn it on, this pot is the most dependable tool I have for cooking a delicious meal on time. It takes the hassle out of standing at the stove, waiting for things to happen. This can be doing the work for me when I'm doing other things around the house like working at my job, cleaning the kitchen itself, or homeschooling my kiddo.

A forgiving tool
Although I try my hardest, sometimes I mess up things and they don't always taste the greatest. The Crock-Pot itself is a very forgiving way to cook a meal. It is welcoming to all your ingredients and cooks them thoroughly for you so there's no hard feelings ;-)

A time saver
Goodness me, I can't tell you how much this has saved me over the years. I've had a variety of Crock-Pots in our married life together and each one has been a huge time saver for me. When I have an especially busy day it's there, cooking dinner for me, so I can offer a delicious healthy meal to my family at the end of the day.

A money saver
Yep! You read that right. It has saved us money in a variety of ways. I can throw dinner in the pot before leaving for the and it stops the, can we just get dinner out, mentality. There's no need to run for take-out when dinner is waiting at home. It helps us to eat healthier too as I know exactly what went into that pot. Sometimes the restaurant meals you're playing guess that ingredient. Not with the CP!

Always Ready When We Are
Another great benefit to these amazing pots is that when we need dinner to be ready, it is. Sometimes we never know what time dinner will be due to work schedules, extracurricular activities, etc. This way we know that dinner can be ready whenever we need it to be. I love the warming feature as well since it's able to just keep it warm if we have to eat at different times from each other.

No this is not a review. No I'm not getting paid to say any of this. (course if Crock-Pot wants to pay me I'll GLADLY write a different review :) LOL)

I just want to encourage you whether you're single, newly married, have a bunch of kids or no kids, your Crock-Pot is your best friend. There's a ton of different amazing recipes out there to fill your pot with love and deliciousness.

Right now I've got chili going for our dinner tonight since the temperatures have dropped here. I'd love to hear what your favorite go-to CP meal is. I'd also love to hear why you love your crock-pot!  Share them in the comments below and happy crocking!!!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Thankful Thursday

820. I'm thankful that no matter what, my blog is here for me to share feelings, thoughts, and vents sometimes.

821. I'm thankful I've developed a (obsession) love for sautéed spinach. It is soooo yummy and I am eating almost everyday.

822. I'm thankful for my job. I'm thankful that it allows me freedom to do things with my family while still supporting my family.

823. I'm thankful to be able to see family often.

824. I'm thankful for an amazing relationship between my hubby and kiddo. They amaze me everyday and I see such a wonderful friendship/relationship blooming between them. Yes, we still have to be mom and dad. However, precious memories are being made that will last a lifetime.

 825. I'm thankful for new experiences that have been fun and exciting. Tractor pulling is our new "thing" and it's really a fun event. If you've never been to one, find one near you and check it out!

826. I'm thankful for God's grace.

827. I'm thankful for this amazing girl. She's a blessing and yes I've been thankful for her before. But when you need some cuddle time and she jumps up and just snuggles, it deserves more gratefulness.

828. I'm thankful that the springtime is here. It's a beautiful time with great temperatures that we can enjoy being outside. You know before the death heat of summer hits in a couple weeks.

829. I'm thankful for those who stop by and read my blog. I never imagined I'd have anything to say much but I've been blessed to be blogging for several years now. People actually come by and read on occasion. (not just my Mom :)) I'm thankful for this platform to share thoughts, experiences, and words of encouragement that God places on my heart. I'm hoping that this year will be a year of more blogging than ever and can't wait to see what God has in store!

What are you thankful for this week? How have you been blessed? Share in the comments below!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wordless (sort of) Wednesday

So, if I try to make a wordless Wednesday post, it drives me to take photos. I have seriously been slacking lately on grabbing shots. Maybe that means I'm living in the moment instead of outside of it? I don't know. Either way I'm going to shoot for Wordless Wednesday to make sure I'm not only living in the moment but capturing awesome moments as well. :) So, here we go!

A couple reasons I love living where we do....

Sights like these in our neighborhood

 Mr. (or Mrs.) Bald Eagle just hanging out eating some lunch.

The water. I love the water in all forms but especially when it's crystal clear....

This girl is amazing. She's a lover, protector, and cuddler of people...

Some yummy THM E-breakfast going on this week....

So that's a look at some of our week. How's your week going so far? Have a great Wednesday and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 6, 2017

An Honest Look at Diabetes With Me...

I hate diabetes. I said it. It's out in the open now. I have been living with this diagnosis for the past 14 years and when I say it is a day-to-day struggle, that's exactly what I mean. It is an everyday struggle for balance. I'm going to be open and honest in this post.

14 years ago right before I was to say I do, I was diagnosed. I had been eating healthier, lost a ton of weight and was doing what I thought I was supposed to do. Then came that day in October when the doctor looked at me and said, "you have it". She didn't want to give me that diagnosis but she had to. From that day forward, my life changed forever. I started testing my sugar multiple times a day, went on medications, and then went on to get married the next month. 

When you find out you're a diabetic your whole world rocks. You immediately start worrying about your eyes, your heart, your kidneys, what will you eat, how can you enjoy life when this diagnosis is hanging over your head. I can't imagine getting this diagnosis as a parent for your child. I can't imagine what a child would go through as they have severe consequences even more on top of what I was now having to learn about. 

The Harsh Truth From a Diabetic
Okay so I'm going to be a little blunt and honest here. I'm not writing this because of the need for sympathy. I don't want you to feel sorry for me. I want to help others understand a little bit about this so that maybe you can understand why someone you care about struggles. Keeping your sugar in balance is an everyday uphill battle. It's not easy. It's not something that can be fixed just by eating right for everyone. It's not something where taking a pill can help fix everything that ails you, in most cases. And in some cases you have to worry about what the pill you're taking is doing other than helping your sugar levels.

So here's some crazy, honest, "why I can't stand diabetes" facts from a diabetic: {please don't think less of me when you're done here ;-)}

  • Some days my stomach looks like I've been sucker punched. Three shots a day for the past 10+ years does that. Sometimes I hit vessels and it is an immediate bruise. Other times I go to give myself a shot and notice a huge bruise from the last one.
  • My fingertips get really, REALLY sore sometimes. Which is really fun when your job is typing on the computer and you LOVE to play the piano. It stinks.
  • My fingertips also look like they are dirty at times because of all the tiny little pinprick bruise/spots.
  • Some times I eat a salad and my sugar skyrockets with no apparent reason. I can sometimes eat everything I "should" eat and deal with high numbers. There is no rhyme or reason. Others can eat some things I can't and never have a problem. I can eat things that others can't and don't have issues. It's not a one-size-fits all plan.
  • If I don't sleep well, guess what? My sugar goes up
  • If I'm stressed, angry, sad, sugar is crazy
  • Sometimes it doesn't matter what I eat, I can go from a high sugar to bottoming out and have to find food... fast.
  • Some days I wish I could stop having to care what I eat
  • I've had to apologize to my son about being snippy or short fused because, you guessed it, my sugar was high or low. It effects your emotions as well. I can become very irritable and downright hate being around myself, all because of the blood glucose levels at the time.
  • I'm afraid of getting Alzheimer's. Did you know that diabetes is connected and they think that Alzheimer's is now Type 3 diabetes? Every time I forget something, can't remember a word, or blank on what I'm trying to say that concern is ever present.
  • I get tired of pricking my finger multiple times a day.
  • I get frustrated and tired of planning to get eat somewhere and worrying if there will be something I can eat that won't mess up my sugar too bad. When friends want to eat out, I have to mentally think about what I can eat there. Sometimes I hate salads. I've always loved them but after so many... they get old.
  • I get frustrated when people tell you that if you just lost some weight it would help. Yes people have told me that. When I was first diagnosed, I was thin. I was at a good weight and then diabetes was in the picture. Let me explain something to you. Before you say that, please think about this. When a person takes insulin it causes them to hold onto fat. Which makes it really difficult to lose. The more weight that someone carries, the more insulin they may need to take care of their sugar levels which in turns, causes them to gain. Add on top of that a thyroid condition and you have something that is a never ending fight to lose an inch or a pound.
  • Every single diabetic is different.
  • Sugar is not the only culprit to a diabetic. Potatoes, bread, pasta, rice, carbs in general turn into sugar. So it could have 0 sugar and still cause a diabetic to have a bad reaction.
  • This is an every day fight. This is not something that I'll ever get rid of. Even if in a perfect world I could eventually come off meds, it's always there. It's always lurking...
  • Some days are better than others. Some days it's just another thing I deal with. Other days it gets to be too much and I want to break.
  • God is bigger than any of this and that's why I can keep moving forward. When my days get rough or I feel like I am about to break from the weight of this whole situation, God is still holding me up. Wipes away the tears and the frustrations and says keep moving.
Like I mentioned, I'm not saying this for pity, sympathy or anything else. I just wanted to share a glimpse into what this disease is like. What a diabetic that is trying desperately to fight, live a life, and take care of their family goes through. What someone who knows what this disease can do and wants to avoid is dealing with. Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2... no matter the name, diabetes is a never ending, lifelong fight. If you know someone living with this, please pray for them, encourage them, listen to them cry and fuss for a bit knowing that they need your shoulder right then. Then help them pick up the pieces and walk forward.

Thanks for listening to me whining and venting. Be Blessed this week!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Weekly Wrap-up: Dancing Raisins, Science Experiments and Fun!

Happy Friday! I hope you've had a wonderful week. This week was pretty smooth going for the most part and we are making progress. Here's a look at what went into our week this week:

Science and More Science
If you've been around this blog for any length of time you know I LOVE doing science experiments almost as much as my kiddo does (maybe more). So this week we had some fun experiments in our Apologia Chemistry and Physics book. We were able to learn the difference between polar and nonpolar mixtures, had some dancing raisins, and saw what dish soap, milk, and food coloring can do.

We had our last science class of this month and they made volcanoes yesterday. They talked about biomes and then to celebrate the last day of the dinosaur exhibit at the museum, they created their own volcano action. It was fun and we are looking forward to next month's session on space.

MathThis week we went back to Math Mammoth. I enjoy Singapore but for the money, Math Mammoth makes it much easier for me as the teacher to get the lessons done. So, we are combing that and Khan Academy to help fill in any gaps that may have been missed along the way.

Boo Bear likes doing the Khan Academy videos and it's free so it helps to shake things up a bit.

Reading, Writing, and Everything Else
We had some beautiful weather here this week and took advantage of it. We did some of our work outside until it got too warm and the pup needed to get some AC and water.

We read some more in the 39 Clues book and finished our audio book in the car. We were listening to the Magic Thief. It wasn't one of my favorites but we are about to start the story of Maleficent on audio so we will see about that one.

Boo Bear is reading one of the Franny K. Stein books and we picked up the George Washington biography to read as well.

Writing has taken on a new spin for us. I have started a journal book for Boo Bear and give him titles to write about. It is easier to see what he knows, where he has gaps, and what we need to work on. Plus, he enjoys writing crazy paragraphs so that he can come up with his own story. It works for both of us! He enjoys the topics and I love that it's writing without the tears.

We had some fun times around the dinner table this week too. I love that his dad gets him sooooo tickled he can't see straight.

I love my two boys. They are both amazing and keep me on my toes and in laughs daily.

Today we have friends coming over to hang out, watch the inauguration, and eat some tacos. Great way to start the weekend if you ask me.

So what did your week look like? Hope you had a fabulous one and have a wonderfully blessed weekend ahead!!!

I'm linked up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers today. Make sure to stop by and check out other weeks in the life of homeschoolers!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Weekly Wrap-up: Crystals, Football, Tornado Warnings and Freezes!

So, crazy week we've had here! As in we went from normal temps to tornado warnings at 1:45 in the morning to freezing cold temperatures. All in the span of about 48 hours or less!!! Then we started to normalize back out to our normal weather pattern, which means lots of beautiful days and lovely temperatures.

Here's how our week looked:

As I mentioned, this past weekend we had some crazy weather going on. It started storming Friday night and then we ended up waking up at 1:45 to the tornado warning going off.

Hubby and I got up and checked the weather and stayed up till around 2:30 when it finally calmed down. We had strobe light lighting going on and that is what concerned us. Once that storm passed, in came the cold weather. I mean, cold for Florida. Freezing temperatures, freeze warning going off all day for two days kind of cold weather. Whew what a weekend!!!

Monday we did our regular school load and moved on through our normal routine. Monday night was the big National Football championship game and of course, I watched. As much as I could anyway. It was on way past my bedtime so I only made it till the beginning of the 3rd quarter. Sigh... I'll just say this... I always have been and always will be.... a Bama girl!

The rest of our week went about normal. I had a doc appointment this week to follow up with my normal blood work so Boo Bear got to have school with Papa. Have I  mentioned how thankful I am they are closer now so they can help with school? If not, know that I am SUPER grateful!!!

We have crystals!!!!

Last week I talked about working on the crystals chapter in our Apologia science and we did our crystal kit. They were pretty cool looking too! I think the green is maybe where we had cross mojination between the orange and blue.

We are moving right along using our Singapore math and the Khan Academy website as well. I'm considering going back to Math Mammoth for the second half of fifth grade math. Mainly because it's either buy that or buy the homeschool teachers guide for the Singapore and the other book we need for that. I'm just not liking the fact that I don't have any guidance/instructions on teaching the concepts. Most concepts are okay but some of them I'm looking up cuz let's face it, it's been a LONG time since I've been in 5th grade math and it's wayyyyy different than when I was there anyway.

We had our science class yesterday too and I'm really liking the teacher this month. She's great and seems to really connect with the kids, AND they are learning something !

Sometimes.... cake for breakfast is a necessity. Don't worry, it's Trim Healthy Mama luscious lemon cake and super yummy!

This weekend will be spent, hopefully, working on some of our home projects. I want to start working on our spare bedroom to set it up for a LEGO building, Nerf storing, extra fun room. Right now it's a throw everything in it and shut the door space and I want that to change.

I think that's about it for our week. Things were pretty normal here except for doc appointments and that crazy wacky weather. How was your week this week?

Check out other homeschool Mama's weeks and see what homeschool looks like by clicking here to visit Kris's site. Thanks for hosting the link up and thanks for stopping by!!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Thankful Thursday

810. I'm thankful for cool weather and hoodies that are comfy and fuzzy.

811. I'm thankful that I got great results back from my regular blood work. Always nice to have the doc write smiley faces all over your lab results

812. I'm thankful for a surprise mid-week date night with my hubby. It's always fun time spent together when we get to sneak off for dinner.

813. I am thankful for the experiences I have had this past year and looking forward to what God has in store this year.

814. I'm thankful for coffee on those mornings I just want to sleep in instead of getting up and moving around.

815. I'm thankful for new adventures ahead. Planning on traveling more this year and it's exciting to just think about.

816. I'm thankful for those times when you know that you know that you know that you have a word for the year and a focus you feel drawn towards. It's an amazing thing and I am excited to see how it plays out.

817. I'm thankful for pens of all ink colors as I have quite a thing for them. (you think I'm kidding)

818. I'm thankful for crazy days and wacky adventures that you never know where they are going to take you.

819. I'm thankful for God's peace that passes any understanding we have here. I've seen it work in many instances in the past few months and it still amazes me.

So, what are you thankful for today? Even if you think you have nothing to be thankful for, look around you. Are you breathing today? Did you wake up? Do you have a job that you might hate but it still feeds your family right now? There are always things to be grateful for if you just take a minute to stop and think!!! Be Blessed today!